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BEA’s Budget: Setting Priorities in the Face of Tight Budgets Brian C. Moyer BEA Advisory Committee Washington, D.C. May 11, 2012
Current Budget Environment • Department strongly supports BEA’s mission, but budgets are extremely tight and cuts are likely • BEA needs to continue producing its core statistical products • “Flat” budgets in even a mild inflationary environment erode base funds • BEA’s building lease expires in FY 2013
BEA’s FY 2012 Budget: $92.2 m Industry—$13.2 m (14%) International—$31.7 m (34%) Regional—$16.3 m (18%) National—$31.1 m (34%)
Spending by Category Overhead, other charges (12%) Rent (7%) Data contracts (2%) IT (8%) Training (2%) People (69%)
Within-budget Improvements • Prototype quarterly GDP by industry statistics • Work with BLS on an industry-level production account • New quarterly tables that reconcile BEA’s data with the Fed’s flow of funds data • New quarterly IIP estimates • Work on new quarterly GDP by state statistics
Improvements in Efficiency • Modernization of IT systems • Allows BEA to complete more work with fewer staff • Improves timeliness of the data • Reduction in administrative costs • Savings of $600 k in FY 2012 • Expansion of electronic filing for BEA surveys • Buyouts/early outs
Performance/Zero-based Budgeting • Budgets begin at “zero” and each program/product is analyzed by its resource costs and expected results • Two-step process • Identify, collect, and analyze cost information on each program/product • Set priorities among programs/products in consultation with customers and stakeholders
Past Cuts to BEA’s Programs • Discontinued short and long-term macro forecasting units • Transferred Leading Indicators to the Conference Board • Discontinued regional projections • Discontinued benchmark capital flow tables • Discontinued FDI surveys, raised reporting thresholds, and reduced the level of detail collected on BEA’s surveys of MNCs • Reduced the level of industry detail provided for county personal income
“Menu” of Potential Future Cuts • Eliminate advance GDP by industry statistics ($1.1 m) • Eliminate county and metro area personal income statistics ($2 m) • Eliminate monthly estimates of personal income and outlays ($2.3 m) • Dramatically scale back projects to modernize the accounts such as better measures of health care inflation ($3 m) • Reduce detail, periodicity, and analysis of FDI/MNC data ($5 m)
“Menu” of Potential Future Cuts • Discontinue “underlying detail” tables for GDP and the national accounts ($400 k) • Discontinue RIMS program ($1.4 m) • Discontinue travel and tourism statistics (net $150 k) • Discontinue paper publications ($180 k) • Scale back the IT modernization and systems reengineering ($3 m)